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Playing a surprise set at Glastonbury Festival last weekend, Kasabian reminded the world that despite obvious line-up changes they remain a viable proposition live. Since said line-up alteration however, they’ve still yet to truly convince fans that they can also produce the goods on record – not at least in the way that fans want.

Therewithin lies the wider issue facing the band. Any act experimenting with their sound will always face backlash from fans reticent towards change, but when you remove an iconic singer and reshuffle the deck that scrutiny is bound to reach unfair levels.

It’s important therefore to not try and assess ‘Happenings’ against the first six albums, because through sentimentality and rose-tinted glasses anything new will always fall short and the cold reality is that the same would probably be true even with the original line-up.

More relevant therefore is how does ‘Happenings’ stack up against 2022’s reinvention record, ‘The Alchemist’s Euphoria’? We described that record as a cleansing album that reset the story for the band stating, “This album does what it needs to do to shore up the ship, but it almost leaves you now asking what’s next?”

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Kasabian – ‘Darkest Lullaby’

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Well, what’s next is a ten song collection with a runtime of nearly 28 minutes dead, which means it’s a succinct and to the point album designed to capture their live energy on record. Frontman Serge Pizzorno has discussed writing this album from the perspective of how the songs will sound live, and the early songs on the album all will translate well on this front.

‘Darkest Lullaby’, ‘Call’, ‘How Far Will You Go’, ‘Coming Back To Me Good’ and the previously released ‘Algorithms’ will all fit into a modern Kasabian setlist with ease and from that standpoint it’s mission achieved for Pizzorno and co.

That said and returning to the earlier point – there are no big hitters on this album. No song that you instantly hold up as on par with their early hits. That however is an impossible measuring stick and shouldn’t take away from the fact that this is another decent if unspectacular showing for this new look version of Kasabian.

If you forget the past, and only focus on the now then you’ll find this to be a short, sharp fling of upliftingly fun dance-indie tunes. If however, you long for indie-rock anthems you’re better off looking into the new breed of indie rock band presently emerging.

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